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I must have been a saint in my past life, because who gets to take time out of their work week gorging on french fries? Me! These glorious golden strips of potato have turned me into a certified french-fry junkie. My entire life thus far seems to be one big french-fry frenzy.
This week was no different. I fancied fries (typical me), so I hit up the following OYK eateries, where chefs are pushing the limits of the common french fry — and succeeding.
Long gone are the days in which fries are sides. Forget that! These fancy fries are main dish-worthy!
Restaurant Epic on Nuuanu Avenue in downtown Honolulu offers a gourmet take on comfort food. This modest eatery gives off a hipster vibe, and, for a moment, its intimate setting separates you from the fast-paced world around you.
I most definitely was on a french-fry kick, and rumor has it that Restaurant Epic is home to Teri Fries ($5). Available during happy hour, the sweet and savory aromas are quite a tease — and no one stands in between me and my Teri Fries. “My name is Alana, and I’m addicted to french fries.”
Simply put, Epic’s Teri Fries amount to crispy fries drizzled in citrus ginger teriyaki sauce. Typically an order of fries is meant for sharing, especially during happy hour. But needless to say, I don’t fall into the norm. I’m quirky, and I have no problem eating a mountain of fries on my own. Guilt? What’s that?
As a first-timer trying Teri Fries, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. But as I took a fry and put it to my mouth, all it took was a minuscule lick of the lips, and I was hooked. The teri seasoning was so good, I literally wanted to face plant myself into the dish. But no, that’s not the least bit classy. Instead, I maintained my composure and munched on each fry, one by one. Luckily for me, my photographer already was full, so after he took his one fry, I had the rest to myself. Oh yeah, baby!
The fries were deep-fried beautifully, just the way I like it, with a crispy golden exterior, smothered in homemade teri sauce complemented by citrus and ginger. A few secret spices are added into the mix, but those will be kept under wraps.
To sum it up, Epic’s Teri Fries are amazing, thanks to their sweet and savory elements, as well as the crispy, light texture of the fries themselves. For the french-fry traditionalist, a squirt of ketchup will round out the equation.
1131 Nuuanu Ave.
Kissaten Bar and Lounge
This local hot spot has expanded its presence from its original Piikoi Street locale to a site at Waterfront Plaza, where Kissaten Bar and Lounge ushers in crowds day and night. With indoor and outdoor seating, along with a full bar, Kissaten brightens its menus with eclectic offerings of American classics and local fare.
Being a french-fry freak, I’ve had my fair share of these deep-fried potato sticks. Yet even I was floored by the sublime taste of Kissaten’s Truffle Parmesan Fries. Priced at $6 (11 a.m.-closing) and $3 during happy hour, these skinny fries are deep-fried and tossed in salt, truffle oil, grated parsley and a hefty sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese.
So, if we were to dissect the finished product, it goes something like this: The fries are not the least bit greasy or starchy, and sogginess is a definite no. Each fry is cooked to a perfect crisp, and the splash of truffle oil and bits of Parmesan are subtle, but give way to an irresistible intertwining of flavors.
Let me warn you: These fries are addicting. You probably will end up eating them all. I did. I’m a simple girl, and Truffle Parmesan Fries are all I need.
Kissaten Bar and Lounge
500 Ala Moana Blvd.